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First Parker - First Questions :)
Unread 01-26-2023, 08:18 PM   #1
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Jim Collison
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Default First Parker - First Questions :)

Hello all,

I'm excited to have just picked up my first Parker and to have joined this group. I've already learned a lot through reading here, and am looking forward to learning much more about these great guns.

If my research thus far is accurate, I have a 12 ga that I believe to be a VH grade manufactured in 1901.

It is certainly not a collectors piece as the stock is not original (and unfortunately is not close to matching the forearm either) and the case coloring is entirely gone. However, the serial numbers all match (104364), lockup is tight, and it is absent of any rust or pitting. I suspect it will prove to be a good shooter.

I am hopeful that someone may be able to assist with a few questions:

- Is there record of how the gun was originally choked?

- Is there any chance the butt plate is original (I suspect unlikely)?

- The current stock does not have a cap on the pistol grip. Did it originally?

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Unread 01-26-2023, 08:22 PM   #2
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The buttplate likely is original to the gun. Taken from the original stock and ised on that new one. It is the proper plate for the gun.
It would have a cap if in fact it was stocked as a capped pistol grip. The only other type of factory pistol grip was a round knob grip.

Factory stock book records do indicate patterning info, which choke can sometimes be figured based on that. Or the order books may specify choking in the specific order for the gun.
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Unread 01-27-2023, 06:44 AM   #3
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Looks like a good shooter , Jim. It is a 2 frame 12. How long are the barrels? I would suspect it would be choked tight. Case colors wear off with use, I dont have a Parker with any more than trace case color left. Do you plan on hunting with it, shooting clays, or both?
Hope to see more posts and pictures, welcome to the PGCA.
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Unread 01-27-2023, 11:02 AM   #4
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I ran your serial # and it shows that records do exist on your VH. I would suggest getting yourself a membership and ordering a factory letter to find out more particulars on your gun. I always find it interesting what might show up on the factory letter. Things like where the gun was originally shipped to, original purchaser, chokes, original stock dimensions, etc can all be possibilities with the factory records.
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Unread 01-27-2023, 03:08 PM   #5
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Thanks guys.

Matt, I will probably do that.

Harold, it has 30" barrels and my intended use for this gun was to shoot clays; specifically skeet as I already have an abundance of guns for trap and sporting clays. To be fair, I have a couple of skeet guns already but was looking for a quality, vintage SxS.

This gun was represented as being choked IC/IC but I've now measured the muzzle ends at .715 (L) and .710 (R) so they are clearly tighter than IC. Additionally, it struck me as especially curious that the left barrel was more open. Upon closer inspection, there is evidence that the muzzle end of the right barrel has received "attention" at some point. There is a tiny "wrinkle" (for lack of a better descriptor) in the mirror finish of the bore very near the end and an almost imperceptible taper can be seen in the last 1/4" of that barrel at the tip. I'm inclined to believe it may have fallen against something, denting the very tip of the barrel, and was opened back up, but not fully.

I'm going to have the gun inspected by a smith, who will also measure the chambers, bores, and chokes. I'll then pattern it as obviously that's what really matters.

If I like the fit and feel of the gun, I may ultimately have the chokes opened up to skeet. If the gun were original, I might consider that to be sacrilegious but given the replacement stock, it's probably best to have it optimized for intended use.

Your thoughts or comments are welcome.
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Unread 01-27-2023, 04:12 PM   #6
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"If I like the fit and feel of the gun, I may ultimately have the chokes opened up to skeet. If the gun were original, I might consider that to be sacrilegious but given the replacement stock, it's probably best to have it optimized for intended use.

Your thoughts or comments are welcome."

I say look, it's your gun, do with it what you will to fulfill your purposes. It would be a different story if it was an honest original higher grade gun, then leave it be. Otherwise, if the gun doesn't fit or suit what you need it to do, then it's not worth having except to flip.

As for the existing chokes, don't be sold on it being choked IC/IC. Unless you also measure bore diameter you really won't know what the chokes are by measuring only the chokes. I always say choke is irrelevant, put the muzzles at the right place and you'll break the clay or kill the bird.
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Unread 01-27-2023, 04:12 PM   #7
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I don't think you would go wrong opening the chokes up on this gun if you purchased it for skeet. You certainly are not going to effect the value in my opinion on a gun like this that isn't original. You might be surprised how well it does in the field with more open chokes as well. It'll be curious to see if the chokes are anywhere close to the advertised IC/IC.
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Unread 01-27-2023, 08:00 PM   #8
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Thanks for your comments guys.

We're all of the same mind on this one so I won't have any reservations about opening the chokes as necessary.
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Unread 01-28-2023, 12:29 AM   #9
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Jim:

Welcome aboard. Do become a member of the Parker Gun Collectors Association and order a factory letter from our Research Chairman. It all adds to the enjoyment.

However, here's a minority opinion: Yes, the gun is your property, to do with as you wish, and it has already been altered. But if it were mine, I would not want to alter it further.

I do have two Parker guns, of my total of six, that are very similar to yours. They came to me altered, are more tightly choked than needed for the hunting I do, but they still get plenty of use on clay targets.

For me it is important to preserve as much originality, that is, their essential nature, as I can for as long as I own them.



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Unread 01-28-2023, 09:02 AM   #10
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Thanks for your input. I have joined the PGCA.

Dissenting opinions are also welcome and I can appreciate your perspective as a custodian of history.
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